How a playground becomes a war zone


December 15, 2012 - 12:00 AM

The shock is still raw, although not as jarring as it probably should be.
A gunman slaughters innocent children and adults. No, this is not Pakistan with the evil Taliban or Syria where its dictator/president al-Assad seems to hold no regard for human life.
No, this was here on U.S. soil — in a grade school of all places.
The kids recalled hearing the shots as loud “booms,” “bangs,” and “pops” as the assailant took down his victims. Some as young as 6.
Hundreds of rounds of ammunition were unloaded inside the walls of the little country school in Newton, Conn. As of Friday afternoon, 28 were dead.

GUN ADVOCATES will maintain the prevalence of guns had nothing to do with the crime. It’s people, not guns, who kill.
Sorry, but without being armed, even a madman can not match the level of carnage done by someone who has rounds of ammunition strapped across his body.
For every 100 people, 88 own guns in the United States. The U.S. ranks top in the world for gun ownership.
This year alone, more than 36,000 deaths have been attributable to deaths by guns, homicide and suicide. Every day, nearly 100 Americans die from gunshots.
The recent shooting deaths of Jovan Belcher, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker, and his girlfriend are a good example of how a domestic squabble turned deadly.
Countries with stricter gun control laws have fewer deaths from gun-related violence.
In the past 40 years, there’s been 61 mass murders in the United States, five have happened in the last five years.
See if these atrocities ring a bell:
• April 16, 2007. Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va. — 32 killed; shooter commits suicide.
• Oct. 16, 1991. Ruby’s Cafeteria, Killeen, Texas. George Hennard shoots 23 patrons dead, before he turns the gun on himself.
• Aug. 20, 1986. Disgruntled postal employee Pat Sherrill came to work the morning after receiving a reprimand. He shot his supervisor and 13 coworkers before committing suicide.
• April 20, 1999. Littleton, Colo. Students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 fellow students and teachers before killing themselves.
• Nov. 5, 2009. Fort Hood, Texas. Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan fired into a group of soldiers preparing to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan; 13 dead.
• July 20, 2012. Aurora, Colo. movie theater. Grad student James Holmes shoots 12 dead at a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

IN MOST of these cases, the guns were legally acquired.
In an August poll by CNN/ORC, a majority of Americans favored a ban on semi-automatic guns, on high-capacity clips, on denying guns to felons and the mentally ill.
Members of Congress are tone-deaf to these sentiments because of the large gifts they receive from lobbyists connected to the National Rifle Association.
For this year alone, members of Congress have received $719,596 in gifts from the NRA. In Kansas, Congressmen Kevin Yoder accepted $4,000 from the NRA followed by Tim Huelskamp, $2,150, Lynn Jenkins, $2,000, Mike Pompeo, $2,000, and Sen. Jerry Moran, $3,000.
Yes, their votes against further gun restrictions have been bought.
Until we as a country demand of our legislators better safeguards against the use of rapid fire guns and rifles intended for war zones — that’s exactly what this country will remain.

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